THE THYROID GLAND; HEARD OF IT, NOT SURE WHAT IT IS?

There are 14 major glands in the human body essential for conducting a wide range of key biological processes. The thyroid gland is one of them. Your thyroid is a small, butterfly-shaped gland situated at the base of the front of your neck, just below your Adam’s apple, which although not noticeable, is in women, too.  Hormones produced by the thyroid gland — triiodothyronine (T3) and thyroxine (T4) — have an enormous impact on your health, affecting all aspects of your metabolism. These hormones also regulate heart and digestive function, muscle control, brain development, mood and bone maintenance. 

HOPING YOU’RE NOT HYPO

If you’re like a lot of people, when you hear “thyroid”, you hear people who gain weight claiming that their thyroid must be low. Yeah, yeah, you might have thought, thinking that pizza and cheese puffs were the more likely culprit. Well, weight gain is one of the symptoms of what is called hypothyroidism or under active thyroid, a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain crucial hormones.

Hypothyroidism signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Increased sensitivity to cold
  • Constipation
  • Dry skin
  • Puffy face
  • Muscle weakness
  • Elevated blood cholesterol level
  • Muscle aches, tenderness and stiffness
  • Pain, stiffness or swelling in your joints
  • Heavier than normal or irregular menstrual periods
  • Thinning hair
  • Depression
  • Impaired memory
  • And yes, weight gain

HYPERTHYROID: MORE THAN HYPER ACTIVE

Another condition called hyperthyroidism or overactive thyroid, occurs when your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. As with hypothyroidism, this condition can mimic other health problems, which can sometimes make it difficult to diagnose.  Like hypothyroidism, it can also include a wide variety of signs and symptoms including:

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Changes in menstrual patterns
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Skin thinning
  • Fine thinning hair

FOODS THAT CAN FIDDLE WITH YOUR THYROID FUNCTION

You might be surprised to learn that fatigue, sudden weight gain or loss, or that general “blah” feeling is the result of foods that can impact how your thyroid works. Depending on whether your thyroid is hypo or hyper, these are just some foods that can either help or hinder your thyroid hormones:

  • Kale
  • Gluten
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Soy milk
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Sugary foods
  • Processed foods
  • Caffeine
  • Iodized salt
  • Seaweed
  • Leafy greens
  • Nuts-Brazil are best
  • Seafood
  • Yogurt
  • Milk
  • Chicken and beef
  • Eggs
  • Berries

If you do have a thyroid condition, you might want to look into it further.

GET THE UPPER HAND ON YOUR THYROID GLAND

Hypo…hyper…when your thyroid hormones are out of balance at all, it’s easy to feel less than your best. All you have to do is look at some of the effects a thyroid imbalance can blast your body with. But before you worry too much, it might help to know that an estimated 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease. Up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition. Which means you could be one of them. So how do you get your thyroid hormones where they’re supposed to be? You make an appointment to see the most experienced hormone specialists in the Denver area; Denver Hormone Health. If it has anything to do with any of the 50 hormones—thyroid included—in the human body, the experts at Denver Hormone Health know exactly how to get them functioning at full speed. Simple tests will tell them where your thyroid levels stand, and from there they create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. Let Denver Hormone Health get you back on the path to feeling fit and fabulous. Your thyroid will thank you.

Hormones and Diabetes: It’s Not So Sweet

Diabetes Basics

Did you know that the medical term for diabetes is actually “Diabetes Mellitus”?  (Although you probably never hear it called that.) Diabetes affects approximately 30.3 million people (9.4% of the population) in the United States, (Tom Hanks, Nick Jonas and Halle Berry to name a few) while another estimated 84.1 million people have prediabetes and don’t know it. What you probably know is that it has something to do with sugar. To put it simply, diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin, resulting in high levels of the sugar “glucose” in the bloodstream.

Every Type is Pretty Terrible

There are two main types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Both types of diabetes are lifelong diseases that affect the way your body regulates blood sugar, or glucose. Glucose is the fuel that feeds your body’s cells, but to enter your cells it needs a key. Insulin is that key. People with type 1 diabetes  (often known as juvenile diabetes) don’t produce insulin. You can think of it as not having a key. People with type 2 diabetes don’t respond to insulin as well as they should and later in the disease often don’t make enough insulin. You can think of this as having a broken key. Of the two, type 1 is the most severe.

When Hormones Have Their Way

Hormone imbalances definitely influence blood sugar levels. To better understand how hormones affect diabetes, it is important to identify which hormones can impact those levels in the blood. Insulin is the hormone that affects blood sugar levels the most, but it’s not the only one. Glucagon, Amylin, Epinephrine, Cortisol and Growth Hormone are others that are best left to medical minds. Let’s just say when it comes to diabetes, unbalanced, they’re “bad”.  This, we can all understand.

Some Serious Stuff Here

Many people with diabetes often “poo-poo” it, not believing it can really do that much damage. But consider just some of the symptoms and health-related problems:

  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Nerve pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • Hunger
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Fatigue
  • Dry mouth 
  • Depression
  • Slow-healing wounds, cuts, or sores 
  • Itching skin
  • Increased susceptibility to infections
  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • Kidney disease

Still think controlling it isn’t something to think seriously about?

Eat This Up

The first thing people think about when it comes to diabetes and diet, is deprivation. No this, no that, and absolutely, positively, never-ever anything sweet. Not so. It’s just all about portion. That box of Valentine candy? Have a small piece or two, just don’t devour the whole thing or dig into a 5-lb chocolate heart. (Cupid won’t die if you don’t). A diet for diabetics is a sensible, healthy diet for anyone; fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and heart-healthy fats. It’s about cutting back on sodium and processed foods. And really cutting back on carbs which are most easily broken down into sugar.  What are a few examples of things you should you totally try to avoid?

  • Frosting (Sorry, but you can ‘t get caught up in the cupcake craze)
  • Bagels
  • Soda (sugar-free is fine)
  • Sugary cereals- (Fruit Loops can really send your blood sugar in loops)
  • Stick margarine
  • Jarred tomato sauce- (Sure, it’s easy, but…Prego is a no-go)
  • Bacon (No more “Bs” in your BLTs)
  • Maraschino cherries (And the sugar-laden cocktails you love them in)
  • Soy sauce
  • Smoothies (Just being green, doesn’t make them healthy)
  • Vanilla cappuccino with whipped cream and hazelnut drizzle (Or any other Starbucks specialty where tons of sugar make them so special.)
  • The devilish duos of anything breaded and fried (bye-bye chicken McNuggets)
  • Fatty red meat (liverwurst’s the worst)
  • Hot dogs

It’s All in the Balance

Before you go bonkers over diabetes, you have to remember that it can be all about hormone imbalances. And imbalances, if treated correctly, by the right medical specialists, can be balanced. The place to start, is getting a good and accurate measure of your hormones, especially those that can contribute to diabetes. And in the Denver area, there’s no better place to do that than at Denver Hormone Health. Every one of the doctors that are at Denver Hormone Health are hormone specialists that know everything there is to know about hormones and getting them back in balance. Simple tests can tell them how they can help you if they determine you’re pre-diabetic or diabetic. Even if it turns out you’re not, they can see if something isn’t in balance with all the other hormones floating through your bloodstream. In any case, all they care about is getting you back to feeling your best. Call the experts at Denver Hormone Health now.

Diabetes doesn’t have to get you down.

Hormones and Health – Hormone Happy New Year

Hormone Health in 2019

Oh Boy, Here It Goes Again

New Year’s resolutions. You know, those well-intended promises to yourself that make you feel righteous when you make them. One problem, is that most people makes lists that are longer than the list of our President’s Twitter rants. Resolutions that rarely last until February, if at all.

You’re not alone.

Here Are A Few Goodies

There are always the standards:” I’ll eat right. I’ll lose weight. I’ll exercise more. I’ll be a better person.” Always a good start. But maybe you should start the New Year with an overall inventory of your general health. Listen to what your body is telling you. You can’t depend on a Fitbit to get the whole picture.

Forget Trying to Google “Good Resolutions”

Try these instead; determine to get yearly physicals, check your blood pressure and cholesterol. And don’t forgo those Flu shots. Above all, if something is going on with the way you feel, don’t ignore it hoping it will go away. Don’t self-diagnose (or Google your symptoms).

Spend Time with Things Furry And 4-Legged

It never hurts to make some resolutions that wouldn’t make it to many lists:

  • Stop self-bullying
  • Take out your earbuds and listen
  • Spend less than half your day on devices
  • Sleep more
  • Say “no” more often
  • Call friends. Frequently.
  • Don’t become a life potato
  • Travel, if only to another side of town
  • Leave your bed unmade with guilting over it
  • Give envy a break
  • Treat yourself like #1

Get Out of Hormone Hell

Now this is a resolution everyone should make. Hormones? Yep. Those chemical messengers that tear through your body calling the shots as to what’s working and what’s not.

Those headaches?
Maybe just hormones.

That fatigue?
Hormones.

Depression. Unexplained weight gain. Brain fog?
Ditto.

Unbalanced hormones can have a heyday with your entire body.

A visit to Denver Hormone Health can tell you if your hormones are out of balance. Every doctor at Denver Hormone Health is a specialist in everything that has to do with hormones, so you couldn’t put yourself in better hands. Whatever your resolutions, make making an appointment at Denver Hormone Health a must.

New year? New you.